Jan. 1, 2009 - Dec. 31, 2010Award Number
USDA - CSREESAmount Awarded
Tao Yan, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii
The over presence of Escherichia coli in agricultural watersheds contributes water quality deterioration, contaminates fresh produces, and introduces uncertainty and anxiety in food security. Due to the enormous genetic diversity of E. coli, to understand its survival in agricultural watersheds requires investigations beyond typical laboratory type strains. In this study, we aim to examine the abundance and genetic diversity of soil E. coli in a tropical Hawaiian watershed that features different microclimates and distinct land uses within short geographic distances. In addition, we will examine the soil E. coli isolates for their survival on soil particles under environmental stresses typical of agricultural lands. Knowledge obtained from this study will help us more accurately assess the impacts of different agricultural practices on water biological quality and food safety, and may also enable us to devise prevention and remediation strategies against E. coli contaminations.